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18 Aug, 2023 17:59

Russia denies limiting Interpol powers 

Moscow’s Ministry of Internal Affairs insists the international organization will continue to function as usual, contrary to recent reports 
Russia denies limiting Interpol powers 

Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has refuted claims that it has reduced Interpol’s powers in the country. Members of the international police organization will continue to carry out the same functions within Russia as they always have, Moscow has insisted.   

On Friday, the ministry released an order listing units authorized to conduct operational-search activities within Russia. A number of media outlets misinterpreted the order and reported that Interpol had been excluded from the list, leaving it only to conduct surveys, make inquiries, and identify people of interest.  

However, the ministry subsequently published a statement on its official Telegram channel, insisting that the document made no changes to existing procedures involving Interpol’s National Central Bureau, or introduced any changes to how Moscow interacts with the General Secretariat of Interpol and other members of the organization.  

“The Russian Federation, as a full member of the International Criminal Police Organization – Interpol, continues to carry out full-fledged mutually beneficial cooperation through the channels of Interpol with all member countries of the Organization in full,” the ministry wrote.  

The ministry also noted that employees at the bureau continue to perform tasks related to the detention of persons internationally wanted through Interpol channels. Staff will likewise continue to follow extradition procedures, including accompanying wanted persons during extradition from foreign states.  

In March 2022, shortly after Moscow launched its military campaign in Ukraine, Interpol faced calls from American, British, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand officials to ban Russia from the organization.  

In response, the agency noted that it would be impossible to exclude Russia, as Interpol’s mandate “does not include the imposition of sanctions or any punitive measures, as well as the suspension of membership or the expulsion of a country from the organization.”  

In a statement to TASS, however, an Interpol representative noted that the organization would change the procedure for considering Russian requests.